Spin Dictionary

Giving different connotations to the same thing. Suggestions for this page are welcome (needed!). modified 2003-11-11.

contents: [FIXME:]

See also: FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt) learning.html#fud

spin dictionary

I find it astonishing that just by using a different word to refer to the same thing, a writer/speaker can choose to make it sound like a good thing or choose to make it sound like a bad thing.

Help me add to the list when you find new ways of referring to a bad thing to make it sound good (euphemisms), or new ways of referring to a good thing to make it sound bad (??? name ???). "different ways of referring to the same thing in a good or bad light"

[FIXME: I'm also starting to collect "single words that refer to completely opposite things", like ``cleave'' and ``upgrade'' and ``revolution''. Should I put them in a seperate section ? ]

Here I list lots and lots of individually spun words and phrases. John Gruber has de-spun an entire press release http://daringfireball.net/2003/04/translation.html . I think "the problem with technolatin" http://www.searls.com/whatobjt.html is also pretty funny.

Other pages that discuss similar words include Wikipedia:Power_word , Wikipedia:Loaded_(language) .

negative neutral positive reference
conspire cooperate plan "I plan, you cooperate, and They conspire" article by Paul Greenberg 1998 Feb 7
Gang Youth Group from the "Insensitive Term -- Preferred Term" Politically Correct Dictionary in THE PC MANIFESTO http://www.repairfaq.org/filipg/OPINIONS/F_Manifest.html /* was http://www.paranoia.com/~filipg/HTML/MINE/F_Manifest.html */
"When I do it, it's development. When you do it, it's coding. When he does it, it's mindless hacking." -- Paul Tomblin
they use a nonstandard word, either out of ignorance or simply to be different they use a different word they use a more appropriate, more accurate word http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Quadrilateral#Congruent_or_equal
"When talk radio mobilizes them, they're an angry mob" "When a community organizer mobilizes them, they're concerned citizens" Mallard Fillmore" by Tinsley 9-9 2009
special interests stakeholders "Newspeak alert" Newsweek 2009-Aug-03 p. 14
"willingness to casually spend ridiculous sums of cash on idiotic rubbish" "consumer confidence" http://notnews.today.com/2008/11/28/portsmouth-gets-future-crime-predicting-cctv-cameras/
interrogation interview Officer George Bruch
old and creepy historic
DANGEROUS: What's for dinner? SAFER: Can I help you with dinner? SAFEST: Where would you like to go for dinner? http://www.dennydavis.net/poemfiles/lvsad2.htm
finite element analysis FEA fractal element antennas
rut track "get your wagons out of the rut"; "get your train back on its track"
things going boom and people getting killed unintentional / uncontrolled energy releases and/or injury http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2002/1/19/03430/8484
'without Netscape, our design stinks.' 'this page optimized for viewing with Netscape' -- Web Week ??? html.html#preferences
Having Strong Opinions
Detail oriented
they proseleytize you preach we share I dropped "proseleytize" from my vocabulary after I noticed (and I was run off Relaynet for saying this) that it is one of those funny words which by DEFINITION only apply to Them. We share, you preach, they proseleytize. Will Linden 2002 Feb 2 http://ecben.net/
no one really knows how to build them yet optimistic spacecraft architectures -- Ralph L. McNutt, Jr. 2002-02-20 http://www.spacedaily.com/news/outerplanets-02b.html
Impossible to fix. MAINTENANCE-FREE! Engineering Marketing Hype Translated http://repairfaq.cis.upenn.edu/sam/humor.htm#hum107 also has many other funny ones.
Nobody agrees with me There has been some discussion A Brief Guide to Scientific Literature http://repairfaq.cis.upenn.edu/sam/humor.htm#hum000 also has many other funny ones.
clutter stuff toys
brain-damaged programmer-oriented -- PatrickTufts http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?ChoosingaWiki
weasely, timid, brown-nosing, fearful subtle, nuanced, diplomatic, sensitive
hoarding stockpiling collecting, gathering, preparing
stubborn determined [FIXME: someone on Christlib]
rude, simplistic, insensitive bold, courageous, fearless, frank
"those who don't completely agree with me" "those who are not thinking clearly" -- someone on Christlib
Americans exercising their democratic rights potential terrorists http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0309/solomon.php
hacker programmer code poet
monolithic ... lacking in internal diversity highly unified, cohesive http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html
fragmented, schismatic diverse, multifaceted and abounding in variations on the same theme. http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html
assault weapons guns defense weapons -- Ted Weiland http://www.jubilee-newspaper.com/YAH/firearms.htm
USPS United States Power Squadrons, The United States Postal Service United States Power Squadrons http://www.usps.org/ "the largest private boating organization in the world" , The United States Postal Service (U.S. Postal Service) http://www.usps.com/
terrorism counterinsurgency Lewis Green http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/editorialsopinion/134351683_pacifists10.html
compound buildings campus
humans Soft targets http://cartome.org/sci-tech-patriots.htm
stupidity test intelligence test
spouse affection provider wife / husband
wearing too much make-up cosmetically oversaturated
radiation photons light
this one is for idiots. this one is easier to use. this one does the job in less time and with less hassle. Stuart Cheshire http://www.stuartcheshire.org/rants/AppleAdvertising.html
"Well, one man's "sanctimonious crap" is another's higher moral ideal." -- Fredric L. Rice
"Uniform Resource Locator" URL unrequited love http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/types.html#type-uri , http://www.halfbakery.com/idea/Anti-unrequited-love_20drug
Crayon a popular tool used to create a variety of graphics by younger artists and future chip designers. http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/creatures/pages/crayon.html
loneliness solitude Our language has wisely sensed the two sides of being alone. It has created the word "loneliness" to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word "solitude" to express the glory of being alone. - Paul Tillich
plagiarism research To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research. -- unknown
the mess we're in. Status Quo
relentlessly thoroughly "Is Democracy Just a Numbers Game ? By choosing polls over principles, our politicians are failing the test of leadership" article by Eric Burns in _Reader's Digest_ 1999-10
thugs troops police; peace-keepers -- the Royster-Meister 1999-11-20 (quoting someone else ?)
"how much more we can get away with here" market forces Pat (?) Wed, 21 Mar 2001 13:08:45 -0800
the orbital motion around a fixed point. revolution a dynamic shift away from stagnation into progressive new realms, a new way of thinking where change is necessary, and bold, big-picture thinkers fearlessly venture out to create positive change. http://lsilogic.com/feature_articles/feature20010926.html
yellow-ish golden
Youth is when you blame all your troubles on your parents; maturity is when you learn that everything is the fault of the younger generation. - Harold Coffin
To split with or as if with a sharp instrument. cleave To adhere, cling, or stick fast. To be faithful: "cleave to one's principles". http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=cleave
the drug racket the alternative pharmaceuticals industry
extra-sensory perception ESP electrical submersible pumps
lumen the opening inside blood vessels http://www.americanheart.org/downloadable/heart/10148338654401013191236985HSfacts02.pdf ... or ... The unit of luminous flux in the International System, equal to the amount of light given out through a solid angle by a source of one candela intensity radiating equally in all directions. http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=lumen
search and rescue SAR synthetic aperture radar
victim disarmament gun control http://www.nguworld.com/vindex/96/103096vs.htm
``The E-Zine for Geeks with a Sense of Humor'' http://www.sexcowairlines.com/ SCA The Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) http://www.sca.org/
Galactic Postal Service GPS Geometrical Product Specifications or
the Global Positioning System
http://www.galactic-guide.com/articles/2U8.html , http://www.iso.org/iso/en/prods-services/CatalogueListPage.CatalogueList?ICS1=17&ICS2=40&ICS3=1 , and machine_vision.html#gps
xenophobic patriotic -- unknown
devices of mistrust door lock security devices
put new bugs in Upgrade Take old bugs out
"obsolete" it works, most of the bugs are ironed out of it, nearly everyone's got it, we can't make as much profit out of it. Let's make them buy something new. Harry Payne <harry at menageri.demon.co.uk> Newsgroups: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5 1995-11-26
``We herd sheep, we drive cattle, we lead people.'' -- unknown
inflicts provides
slaves socioeconomically disfavoured populations http://creole.ling.su.se/creole/FAQ-Creole.html
liar ethically disoriented http://members.fortunecity.com/alienbunny/
stolen animal products, fortuitarian comestibles, victims of speciesist slaughter, and brutally betrayed botanical companions. the four major food groups http://members.fortunecity.com/alienbunny/
the nasty bright thing Sol, our sun victoria gwaed http://www.threethirteen.net/lace/cloakett.html
electromagnetic pulse EMP Experience Music Project http://www.digitalharmony.com/partners/emp.asp
context peripheral tangential, irrelevant
librarian media specialist http://www.fno.org/FNOSept93.html
artificial intelligence A.I. Amnesty International
crash-and-sink "sub-Atlantic orbit" http://www.amsat.org/amsat/amsat-na/amhist.html
ftl faster-than-light; fruit of the loom
... at a workstation. buses stop at a bus station. Trains stop at a train station. -- Gavin Denby (1999-12-27) probably quoting someone else.
"A person is smart; People are dumb." -- unknown
fragmentation diversity Tom Henderson July 19, 1999 http://www.byte.com/column/linux/BYT19990715S0021
FUD http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Hills/9267/fuddef.html
habit rut ritual tradition pre-planned
blurry smooth
return on investment ROI region of interest
"increased government meddling in the free market" "investing in infrastructure"
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Larry's Rad Lab ?
"These standards are often outdated, inaccurate, and improperly applied, leading to system designs with poor reliability." tested, tried-and-true, decades-old military and commercial standards http://www.cyberspy.com/~daci/news198.html
poli = many, tics = blood sucking insects politics Dave Barry
WOMBAT a useless task, i.e. a "Waste Of Money, Brains, And Talent." Duncan Philps-Tate, in The mini-Annals of Improbable Research ("mini-AIR") Issue Number 1997-08 http://www.improb.com/
Bogs are bad: defective land where neat river networks somehow failed to develop. Wetlands are biologically fecund places, full of diversity. http://www.newscientist.com/ns/980829/review.html
hyper-text markup language HTML Hamburger with Tomato, Mustard, Lettuce -- unknown
chemicals food ingredients
"I am either too lazy or too incompetent to design a proper site, but I think it looks cool with XYZ using my setup." "this site optimized for XYZ" [no positive spin possible] http://www.uni-muenster.de/WiWi/home/rentmei/html/opti.html
He/She has prejudices. You have biases. I have preferences. -- unknown
buzzword-compliant Harry H. Cheng
Role-Playing Game RPG Rocket-Propelled Grenade
stuff functions and capability Michael Markowitz <ednmarkowitz at mcimail.com>
"covered with compatibility barnacles" "fully compatible" -- unknown
rogue individualist
that goofy two-legged thing banging on the keyboard and shouting, How Do You Turn This Thing On? wetware http://www.creativegood.com/help/c022.html
spring loaded test pins pogo pins DS31028A-page 28-6 (C) 1997 Microchip Technology Inc.
uncontrollable mobile source of pollution lawnmowers http://www.ora.com/people/staff/sierra/flum/92.09.htm
the much-vaunted "World Wide Web." WWW
problems challenges Dynamic Optimism http://www.primenet.com/~maxmore/optimism.htm
"the professor has to yell at the students." "the instructor needs to bring the trainees back on the subject using audio." http://www.lucent.com/cedl/training1.html
SMD Strain Measurement Devices, Inc. surface mount device
Point of Sale POS Plan of Study
area of uncertainty region of confidence _IEEE Communications Magazine_ 1998-04 p. 74
collective group team
Academy of Country Music ACM Association for Computing Machinery http://www.acm.org/
Electro-Static Discharge ESD Electronic software distribution
Intellectual Property IP Instrument Panel
Intellectual Property IP Internet Protocol
The fine art of whacking the crap out of an electronic device to get it to work again. Percussive Maintenance http://www.pangea.ca/sorvan/tame.html
  • A small program is more desirable than a program that is functional or correct.
  • A shoddy job is perfectly acceptable.
  • When faced with a choice, cop out.
The Unix Philosophy
  • Small is beautiful.
  • 10 percent of the work solves 90 percent of the problems.
  • When faced with a choice, do whatever is simpler.
-- from _The UNIX-HATERS Handbook_ p. 37
"that big room with the ceiling that is sometimes blue and sometimes black with little lights" RL Real Life http://www.bunnyhop.com/BH5/geekguys.html
"your grammar is atrocious" "your letter appeared to be written in some form of code"
"Geek" "General Expert of Electronic Knowledge" Jogar the Barbarian <jogar at mailexcite.com> December 28, 1997 at 08:42:13 (EST)
erratic flying evasive maneuvers
Error bug "undocumented negative product enhancement" Dijkstra recommends programmers use the term "error" instead of "bug". (I can't find a reference for this). It is rumored that Microsoft occasionally uses the "enhancement" terminology.
Law Enforcement Officials LEO Low Earth Orbit
enumerate count
"maniacal, half-witted menaces" motorists "cerebrally challenged, high-risk peril producers" Blaine Greteman
"slothful, cow-eyed, slack-jaws" pedestrians "alternatively paced traffic inhibitors" Blaine Greteman
"jacked up" (mangled) "jacked in" (online) -- Mark Cary
Circle of Death bad pizza
laser pointer cat remote Amy Cat
rowdy hi-energy
gossip "exchange unconfirmed personal data of another through casual dialog" Bentley <EulasBoys2 at aol.com>
That Flat Thing TFT Thin Film Transistor Carla Schroder, LMT, <erose at pacifier.com>
Holy Playground of High Tech Goodies Carla Schroder, LMT, <erose at pacifier.com>
fudge factors parameters Paul Cary
enumerate count
Law Enforcement Officials LEO: Low Earth Orbit
"Bloody stupid and dangerous, but probably good fun if no one gets killed." "A Good Idea" http://megadodo.com/articles/9R7.html
National Computer Security Association (Ira Winkler and friends) NCSA The National Center for Supercomputer Applications: ftp.ncsa.uiuc.edu
junior member of subversive, homophobic, paramilitary organization Cub Scout in the Boy Scouts of America from _See, I Told You So_ book by Rush Limbaugh, Ch. 25: The Politically Correct Liberal Lexicon
virtues which can be considered vices, and vice-versa. http://www.elfhill.com/leighann/2nd.html


A pangram is an anagram or a lexigram of the alphabet.


DAV doesn't really like anagrams and puns themselves, mainly because those in one language are practically impossible to translate into another language. This is because they don't stay on one level idea_space.html#level or another, but straddle the line (to mix metaphors).

However, the software to generate anagrams can be interesting. Some clever speed-up tricks.

[FIXME: what did I read about Scrabble and alphabetical tile arrangement ? learning to recognize alphabetized words seems helpful to find anagrams ... and Upwords and certain board games ... and reading text in the idea_space.html#chromatic_alphabet ] [FIXME: I'm putting lots of ``level-breaking'' stuff here, although it really has nothing to do with words in a dictionary ... better place ? ]

Another level-breaking concept is the ambigram http://www.georgehart.com/scott-kim.html also called an inversion http://www.scottkim.com/inversions/index.html . ( http://rdrop.com/~half/Creations/Art/Ambigrams/ , http://www.ambigram.com/ )

Some more anagram links collected by jwz: http://www.jwz.org/bookmarks.html#Generated_Texts

isonym list

Different words, spelled the same.

Distinct English words that unfortunately are spelled exactly the same.

  • If GH can stand for P as in Hiccough
    If OUGH stands for O as in Dough
    If PHTH stands for T as in Phthisis
    If EIGH stands for A as in Neighbour
    If TTE stands for T as in Gazette
    If EAU stands for O as in Plateau
    Then the right way to spell POTATO
    -- Anonymous

    1999-06-09:DAV: I just discovered these are called "isonym" or "heterophonic homographs" http://www.frii.com/~katana/isonym.html .

    in praise of paper books and dictionaries

    In praise of paper books and paper dictionaries. Things that electronic dictionaries still cannot do.

    DAV's dictionary

    new words David is learning.

    DAC's vocabulary list of words:

    (date is 1st time David met it)

    (started 1996 May 18)


    Need to look up:










    ethos, logos, pathos

    New Words:

    quire, kliros, chior (architecture): the area of the church or cathedral intended for singers to sit, stand, or kneel during services; typically between the nave and the sanctuary. 2010-02-25

    Amphisbaena: a mythological creature with a head at each end.
    Amphisbaenia ("worm lizard"): a legless, burrowing animal; superficially similar to earthworms, except it has teeth; with a tail that vaguely resembles its head; named after the mythical Amphisbaena. 2010-02-25

    hydronics: the use of water as the heat-transfer medium in heating and cooling systems. 2010-02-25

    ansatz = "an educated guess that is verified later by its results."

    invigilate = "To oversee a test or exam; to proctor" 2009-07-22

    catallactics = "the science of exchanges", a theory of how the free market system conveges on prices. Friedrich Hayek prefers this term over "economy", because of the Greek roots of the words: economy ~= household management; catallaxy ~= "to exchange", and "to admit in the community", and "to change from enemy into friend." 2009-02-01

    rubric = written in red 2003-11-11

    amanuensis = "one employed to write from dictation or to copy manuscript: secretary" http://users.visi.net/~cwt/moonwalk.html 1998-09-26

    satori = A spiritual awakening sought in Zen Buddhism, often coming suddenly. http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=%20satori 2002-11-26 (similar to epiphany, one of DAV's favorite words) [FIXME: http://www.lewiscarroll.org/bander.html discusses a connection between epiphanies, linguistic ambiguity, and level-crossing. idea_space.html#level ]

    replevin: the recovery by a person of goods or chattels claimed to be wrongfully taken upon the person's giving security to try the matter in court and return the goods if defeated in the action.

    exiguous "For many weeks I had been tweaking fetchmail rather incrementally while feeling like the interface design was serviceable but grubby -- inelegant and with too many exiguous options hanging out all over." -- http://www.ccil.org/~esr/writings/cathedral-paper-6.html

    usa "politically correct" ~=~ uk "ideologically sound"

    Schmetterling = butterfly

    Subject: Re: Raining Fish

    From: david at quercus.org (David P. Adam)

    Newsgroups: sci.geo.meteorology

    dr.s.wright at mail.internexus.co.uk (Stephen Wright) wrote:

    >Does anyone know the term for when it rains real fish?


    >Thanks in anticipation!

    (Good thing you thanked me in advance... :))

    humanism: "a naturalistic philosophy that rejects all supernaturalism and relies primarily upon reason and science, democracy and human compassion."

    -- Corliss Lamont (?)

    epistemology: The study of how we know things.


    Date: Wed, 9 Oct 1996 23:17:49 -0800

    To: pdx-b5 at aracnet.com

    From: chris at aracnet.com (Chris Baugh)

    Subject: pdx-b5: telepaths make for bad TV


    If B5 is a novel told in TV, the telepathic battles are

    the unfilmable parts of that novel. It's harder to suspend disbelief when

    the actors are leaning on the proscenium arch.

    heteroscedastic noise: Analytical Chemistry, Jan. 1, 1994.

    Manifest Destiny

    Date: Tue, 24 Sep 1996 20:07:48 -0400
    From: Sarah Marr <sarah.marr at dial.pipex.com>
    To: Multiple recipients of list <excelsior-l at excelsior.org>
    Subject: Re: OMEGA corrections
    e.g. (exempli gratia) is 'for example': 'He hates sharp implements, e.g.
    i.e. (id est) is 'that is to say': 'Give me your name, i.e. what you are
    called on yourbirth certificate.'

    FUNCTION SysEnvirons (versionRequested: INTEGER; VAR theWorld: SysEnvRec)

    : OSErr;

    In this case, Pascal pushes a pointer to theWorld on the stack. The Pascal

    interface glue then pops this pointer off the stack directly into A0 and calls

    SysEnvirons. Everything is copacetic.

    Feng Shui

    (1996 May 18)

    Ikabana: Japanese art of flower arranging

    (1996 May 18)

    Hydroponics: growing plants without soil, usually in an inert material like plastic foam or an nutrient solution. Very high yields in a small space, probably suitable for urban farming.

    (29 May 1996)

    Aquaculture: Farming fishes, usually in big nets in rivers. (29 May 1996)

    Aquaponics: A combination of aquaculture and hydroponics: the waste products of the fishes (especially ammonia) are used as nutrients for the plants, which act as filters for the fishes in an aquarium. It is an almost closed system, requiring only feeding of the fishes and energy. There are some interesting webpages out there about this, take a look at http://www.intercom.net/biz/aquaedu/hatech/

    (29 May 1996)

    "aeroponics": grow a plant above the ground - for example, suspended in a pot - so that its roots grow out into the air. Then sprinkle the roots with nutrient-enriched water. The plant will also draw on the air as usual. (29 May 1996)



    (see Hacker's Dictionary) (Is it in the Jargon File ? creed.html#jargon )

    +From: jdevries at gate.net
    +Newsgroups: alt.hackers
    +Date: Tue, 28 Jan 1997 09:20:35-0500
    +ObThisIHaveDoneHack: While in college I drove a '66 Corvair 500 with a
    +stock radio. Since I also had cassettes and a walkman type player, I was
    +tempted to drive with headphones. I kept thinking, if I had a schematic
    +of this old AM radio, I could inject the audio from the tape player. Anyway,
    +while cruising home, I was turning down the volume on the radio, and it
    +was making its usual pops and crackles, when it hit me. The volume control
    +has to be in the audio stage. Sure enough, if the radio was tuned to dead
    +air, audio could be injected at the volume control. I just soldered a 1/8"
    +audio plug to a cable connected between one lug on the volume control
    +(carefully chosen* to control MY signal) and ground. Worked like a champ.
    +* "carefully chosen" means, 1) Connect to 1 of 3 lugs at random, 2) If it
    +doesn't work, try another, 3) Repeat "2" as necessary.


    VSP "We seemed to be running back to the same issues: what are we trying to say, anyway? It was more "What?" than "How?", although "How?" can keep legions of VSP (very smart people) fascinated for years on end! :)" -- From: John Whynot, 71334,143 To: W'bee/DL, 70730,3655 Topic: Art, Technology & VR Msg #21550, reply to #21489 Section: Cyber Arts [8] Forum: Cyber Date: Mon, 1994 Apr 4, 23:40:21

    Magicians =def= Employees of General Magic.

    reify /ri.a.fei/ = to regard (something abstract) as a material thing.

    Synonyms from http://www.2600.com/phrack/phrack22.html

          Thinking:      Problem Solving
          Conversation:  Exchange of information
          Love:          Emotional fulfillment
          Sex:           Physical fulfillment
          Drugs:         Introspection
          Poetry:        Metaphor, Imagery
          Involvement:   Sense of Self-Worth
          Music:         Rhythm, Harmonics
          Food:          Flavor, Satisfaction
          Breathing:     Inhalation of Oxygen

    legacy architectural baggage / compatibility barnacles

    "reverse Polish notation" (RPN) on the HP calculators "Polish" in honor of its inventor, Jan Lukasiewicz (Wu-ka-sha-vich), noted Polish mathematician (1878-1956). -- from footnote on p. 599 of _Computer Architecture: A Designer's Text based on a Generic Risc_ book by Feldman and Retter.

    The nöosphere is defined as the sum total of all human knowledge and experience.

    chantaltaxia (moving towards its preferred environment). http://www.legomindstorms.com/

    New Words & Their Definitions http://members.tripod.com/~kathee/newword1.htm some funny ones. Similar to _Sniglets_.

    translations of common phrases in "EMPLOYER SPEAK " and "APPLICANT SPEAK " http://www.intradata.com/humor/employer_speak.txt

    Orwellian logic

    Date: Mon, 14 Sep 1998 17:11:10 -0700 (PDT)
    From: Hardrock Llewynyth <hardrock at eskimo.com>
    To: "Those Oh-So-Wacky Libertarian Dudes." <christlib at swcp.com>
    Subject: Christlib: [mitnick] H/Ps should "own" their own Language! (fwd)
    Reply-To: <christlib at swcp.com>
    a little something i found on another mailing list (the Kevin Mitnick
    one).  I don't know if i already forwarded it; but i figured that now
    would be a good time to send it again.
    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    Date: Sat, 29 Aug 1998 00:51:57 -0400 (EDT)
    From: ksandre <ksandre at cyberportal.net>
    Reply-To: mitnick at 2600.com
    To: mitnick at 2600.com
    Subject: [mitnick] H/Ps should "own" their own Language!
    In reference to the ABC 20:20 story, and any other Media reporting of H/P
    activity or perceived threat, I am forwarding an article from an activist
    M/L about 'Orwellian Logic' in the Media as applied to the recent physical
    Terrorist events.  Since part of the subject of this KDM M/L is how to
    influence the most people through the media regarding Kevin's issues (and
    concurrently H/P issues in general), I think this article very
    dramatically highlights how the Media does this and therefore might help
    frame methods of overcoming it and possibly regain "ownership" of the
    very words used as weapons against people like Kevin and future Kevins.
    H/Ps should own the language and words that define them!
    Subject: Orwellian Logic and the Monibombings (fwd)
    Here's an explanation, using Orwellian logic, about how the indefensible
    (such as the recent US bombings in Sudan and Afghanistan) gets defended in
    ordinary political discourse....
    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    By Norman Solomon  /  Creators Syndicate
         During the week after U.S. missiles hit sites in Sudan and
    Afghanistan, some Americans seemed uncomfortable. A vocal
    minority even voiced opposition. But approval was routine among
    those who had learned a few easy Orwellian lessons.
         When terrorists attack, they're terrorizing. When we attack,
    we're retaliating. When they respond to our retaliation with
    further attacks, they're terrorizing again. When we respond with
    further attacks, we're retaliating again.
         When people decry civilian deaths caused by the U.S.
    government, they're aiding propaganda efforts. In sharp contrast,
    when civilian deaths are caused by bombers who hate America, the
    perpetrators are evil and those deaths are tragedies.
         When they put bombs in cars and kill people, they're
    uncivilized killers. When we put bombs on missiles and kill
    people, we're upholding civilized values.
         When they kill, they're terrorists. When we kill, we're
    striking against terror.
         At all times, Americans must be kept fully informed about
    who to hate and fear. When the United States found Osama bin
    Laden useful during the 1980s because of his tenacious violence
    against the Soviet occupiers in Afghanistan, he was good, or at
    least not bad -- but now he's really bad.
         No matter how many times they've lied in the past, U.S.
    officials are credible in the present. When they vaguely cite
    evidence that the bombed pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum was
    making ingredients for nerve gas, that should be good enough for
         Might doesn't make right -- except in the real world, when
    it's American might. Only someone of dubious political
    orientation would split hairs about international law.
         When the mass media in some foreign countries serve as
    megaphones for the rhetoric of their government, the result is
    ludicrous propaganda. When the mass media in our country serve as
    megaphones for the rhetoric of the U.S. government, the result is
    responsible journalism.
         Unlike the TV anchors spouting the government line in places
    like Sudan and Afghanistan, ours don't have to be told what to
    say. They have the freedom to report as they choose.
         "Circus dogs jump when the trainer cracks his whip," George
    Orwell observed, "but the really well-trained dog is the one that
    turns his somersault when there is no whip."
         Orwell noted that language "becomes ugly and inaccurate
    because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our
    language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." And
    his novel "1984" explained that "the special function of certain
    Newspeak words ... was not so much to express meanings as to
    destroy them."
         National security. Western values. The world community. War
    against terrorism. Collateral damage. American interests.
         What's so wondrous about Orwellian processes is that they
    tend to be very well camouflaged -- part of the normal scenery.
    Day in and day out, we take them for granted. And we're apt to
    stay away from uncharted mental paths.
         In "1984," Orwell wrote about the conditioned reflex of
    "stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any
    dangerous thought ... and of being bored or repelled by any train
    of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction."
         Orwell described "doublethink" as the willingness "to forget
    any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes
    necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long
    as it is needed."
         In his afterword to "1984," Erich Fromm emphasized "the
    point which is essential for the understanding of Orwell's book,
    namely that `doublethink' is already with us, and not merely
    something which will happen in the future, and in dictatorships."
         Fifty-two years ago, Orwell wrote an essay titled "Politics
    and the English Language." Today, his words remain as relevant as
    ever: "In our time, political speech and writing are largely the
    defense of the indefensible."
         Repression and atrocities "can indeed be defended," Orwell
    added, "but only by arguments which are too brutal for most
    people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims
    of political parties. Thus political language has to consist
    largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy
         National security. Western values. The world community. War
    against terrorism. Collateral damage. American interests.

    apodictic: Expressing, or of the nature of, absolute truth and certainty. -- 1998-11-11 "But many of the most poignant and life-changing experiences of believers, which they apparently recognise from one another's testimony, are held to be as intractable and apodeictic as my experience of the consciousness of another human. I can't scientifically *prove* that Jeff Dee is conscious, but I know it as well as I know anything. Maybe it's the same with religious claims - the `evidence' is accessible only to some, and perhaps only after they have placed themselves in a state inconsistent with skeptical kibbitzing. (I certainly hope this isn't the case, but my hopes can't legislate the ontology of the universe.) " -- Date: Wed, 09 Sep 1998 From: Damien Broderick <damien at ariel.ucs.unimelb.EDU.AU>

    film noir http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=film+noir 1998-12-08

    Improve your Vocabulary http://www.moonmac.com/~mklprc/Improve_Vocab.html

    Ethernet (n): something used to catch the etherbunny.

    "excess capacity and waste" / "safety margins" -- http://www.tbtf.com/archive/03-02-98.html In general, a "detergent" is any linear molecule containing a polar group attached to a long-chain fatty acid moiety, the molecule exhibiting both hydrophobic and hydrophilic interactions and tending to self-organize in solutions. -- http://scienceweek.com/ Transposable genetic elements (also called "jumping genes") are mobile segments of DNA that may appear at apparently random locations in the genome. -- http://scienceweek.com/

    "technopropisms": "the word I coined to describe mistakes that survive spelling checkers." -- Sandy Reed <sandy_reed at infoworld.com> in 1998-12-21 Infoworld http://www.infoworld.com/ example: the poem "I have a spelling check her".

    MNEMONICS = Mnemonics Neatly Eliminate Mankind's Only Nemesis - Insufficient Cerebral Storage -- http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropolis/1756/taofaq3.txt

    Software Glossary http://www.bram.net/humor-archive/1997-Oct/msg00027.html such classics as "ALL NEW -- The software is not compatible with previous versions." "REVOLUTIONARY -- The disk drives go round and round."

    "A mondegreen is a lyric which is heard incorrectly." You can submit your own mondegreens, and check out those submitted by others, at http://www.enteract.com/~jessicar/lyrics/ .

    I know someone who pronounces "Null", "knoll", and "Noel" identically.

    "Engineering, in our view, is the application of scientifically based methods to the definition, design and construction of systems, products and artefacts in a predictable and manageable fashion. Specifically, it includes constraints relating to performance, economy of production and resources consumed by completed systems, quality and social usefulness." -- http://www.cs.latrobe.edu.au/research/se-3.html

    http://piclist.org/techref/dictfun.htm list a bunch of isonyms (in sentence form).

    ITMA (It's that man again) ... misinformation technology (MIT). -- http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/28/16586.html (also has lots of other humourous technology terms)

    A technical manual (ATM)

    asynchronous transfer mode

    automated teller machine

    Started: 1997 Aug 30.
    Original Author: David Cary.
    Current maintainer: David Cary.

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    Send comments, suggestions, bug reports to
    David Cary
    d.cary@ieee.org. end http://rdrop.com/~cary/html/spin_dictionary.html